Game Notes: No. 15 BYU at Washington

The Cougars will be looking to claim their first-ever victory at Husky Stadium. On their last trip to Seattle, the Cougars dropped a 29-17 decision during the 1996 season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Saturday’s matchup will be the seventh meeting between BYU and Washington, dating back to the 1985 season. Washington owns a 4-2 advantage over BYU, as the Cougars have an 0-3 record playing against the Huskies in Seattle. Washington won four consecutive matchups throughout 1986-1998, before BYU rebounded in 1999 with a 35-28 win in Provo.

ON THE TUBE

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Network. The game will be regionally available on FSN through cable and satellite providers.

2008 BROADCAST PLANS

Ten of BYU’s 12 games this season will be broadcast to a national audience on The Mtn., VERSUS and CBS College Sports Network. The Cougars will have seven games televised on The Mtn., including the season opener against Northern Iowa and the closing game against in-state rival the University of Utah. Direct TV launched The Mtn. nationally on Aug. 27, 2008, giving fans from across the country ultimate access to Mountain West Conference sports. VERSUS will carry the UCLA and TCU games, and CBS-CS will televise the Cougars’ trip to Air Force on Nov. 15. BYU’s game at Washington will be shown regionally on FOX Sports.

VERSUS THE PAC-10

A 17-16 victory over UCLA in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl improved BYU’s record against Pac-10 opponents to 3-2 over the past two seasons. Throughout the 2006-07 seasons, the Cougars are 1-1 against Arizona, 1-1 against UCLA and 1-0 against Oregon. Interestingly, BYU has outscored Pac-10 opponents 120-93 over the past five match-ups.

A LOOK BACK: BYU 41-NORTHERN IOWA 17

No. 16 BYU extended the nation’s longest win streak to 11 games after downing FCS opponent Northern Iowa, 41-17, in front of a sell-out crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars were led by junior tight end Dennis Pitta who racked up 213 yards receiving with 11 catches--a new MWC tight end record. An All-America candidate, Pitta’s performance equaled the 10th highest performance by a receiver in BYU history. Another All-America candidate, Max Hall, threw for 486 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. Junior linebacker Matt Bauman led the defense with 11 tackles on the night. With the win the Cougars extend their home-opening record to 31-11-1, bringing their overall home winning streak to 13 games.

PITTA POWER

Junior tight end Dennis Pitta racked up 213 yards receiving with 11 catches last week against Northern Iowa. Pitta’s performance equaled the 10th highest performance in BYU history, tying Eric Drage’s mark set against Air Force back in 1993. He also set the MWC record for receiving yards by a tight end with his performance, breaking Jonny Harline’s record of 181 yards against Oregon in the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl. Pitta’s performance against Northern Iowa also marked the top receiving performance during the opening week of the 2008 season. The Mackey Award and All-America candidate not only led all receivers, nationally, but also he was the top-ranked tight in the country by 90 yards. Pitta, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound native of Moorpark, Calif., is a 2008 Mackey Award and All-America candidate.

TALE OF THE TAPE

BYU’s starting five offensive linemen weigh in at an average 326.4 pounds and average 6-feet-6. The front five will be going up against a Washington defensive front that measures an average 6-feet-3, 264 pounds. Defensively, the Cougars’ front three average 6-feet-3, 278 pounds, while the Washington offensive line tips the scales at an average 6-feet-5, 325 pounds per man.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME TO START THE SEASON

Dating back to the Cougars’ first season in 1922, BYU has posted a record of 31-11-1 when opening the season in Provo -- that’s a winning percentage of 73.3 percent! Interestingly, BYU’s longest home-opening win streak is 10 seasons, dating from 1930 through 1939. Overall BYU has won six of its last seven home-openers.

SEASON OPENERS

The Cougars opened with a win for only the second consecutive season as BYU defeated Northern Iowa 41-17 at home in LaVell Edwards Stadium. In 2007, BYU edged Arizona, 20-7. Since 1922, the Cougars have posted a 48-35-2 record in season-opening games.

HAVE BAGS; WILL TRAVEL

Interestingly, Hall of Fame Coach LaVell Edwards opened the season in Provo only nine times during his 29-year career. From 1978 to 1995, BYU opened the season on the road in 16 of 18 seasons. He was 5-4 in season-openers at Cougar Stadium.

EDWARDS’ STADIUM STREAK NOW SPANS THREE SEASONS

With No. 16 BYU’s 42-17 win over Northern Iowa on Saturday, Aug. 30, the Cougars have not lost in Edwards Stadium since November 19, 2005. BYU has won 13 straight home games, dating back to September 9, 2006. The last time the Cougars won 13 consecutive home games was 16 seasons ago when the team won 17 in a row from Oct. 7, 1989 to Nov. 23, 1991.

ACTIVE WINNING STREAKS

BYU currently owns the longest active winning streak among FBS (Division I-A) teams, having won 11 consecutive games. The top, current winning streaks in the NCAA are as follows:

Team, Current Streak

BYU, 11

Georgia, 8

USC, 6

COUGARS CONTINUE TO WIN

With a 41-17 victory over Northern Iowa in their season opener, the Cougars have won 22 of their last 24 games, dating back to the 2006 season. BYU is currently on an eleven-game win streak that includes a narrow 17-16 win over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl, a 25-point win at Wyoming, a win over TCU, a 19-point victory over CSU, a 35-point victory over Eastern Washington, a 25-point win over Air Force, and road wins over New Mexico, UNLV and San Diego State. BYU holds the nation’s longest active win streak. Over the past 27 games, the Cougars have posted a record of 23-4.

HE WHO SCORES FIRST...

Against Northern Iowa, senior Michael Reed’s 27-yard touchdown reception with 8:56 remaining in the first quarter, gave BYU an early 7-0 lead. The play marked the 23rd time in the last 26 games BYU has scored first. BYU is 21-2 in those 23 games.

NATIONAL RANKINGS

For the first time since 1997, BYU will kick off the season ranked among the nation’s top-25 programs in both the USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 17), and the Associated Press Top-25 (No. 16). This marks the Cougars’ highest preseason ranking since picked No. 16 in 1990. BYU finished the 2007 season ranked as high as No. 14 with an 11-2 record, including a 17-16 victory over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl.

ANOTHER SELLOUT

The 64,108 fans in attendance for the Cougars’ 41-17 win over Northern Iowa marked the seventh consecutive sell-out at Edwards Stadium. The current streak marks the longest streak of consecutive sellouts since the 1991-92 seasons.

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